The new school year in Palestine officially started today with more than 1.3 million students back to their classes in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, following a six-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak. A strict attendance program has been put in place taking into account the health hazards of the novel coronavirus.
The school year starts first with grades one through four, to be followed two weeks later by grades five through 11, taking into account that groups of students will attend classes on some days of the week while receiving distance education from home during the rest of the week days.
The Ministry of Education said that the total number of students in the West Bank and Gaza are about 1 million and 350,000 students, 743,953 of whom are in the West Bank, while 597,838 are in the Gaza Strip. It said 881,000 students are back to governmental schools, 337,000 students are back to the UNRWA-run schools, while 656,000 students are back to their classes in private schools.
The Ministry said that there are 442,000 governmental schools, 385 schools run by UNRWA and 443 private schools.
The school year will follow a rigorous program that takes into account the health hazards of the disease in order to guarantee the safety of the students and teaching staff.
Studies were interrupted early last year when the first cases of the pandemic were discovered in Palestine in March forcing the closure of all schools and starting a distance learning program.